Wednesday 25 January 2017

Dublin South: Senator dropped in deep waters of Bermuda triangle

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

Published 18/02/2011 | 05:00

Maria Corrigan, Fianna Fail candidate for Dublin South, speaks to Sister
Joan in Stillorgan, Dublin, yesterday
Maria Corrigan, Fianna Fail candidate for Dublin South, speaks to Sister Joan in Stillorgan, Dublin, yesterday

MARIA Corrigan laughs heartily when she's asked how she gets on with the Fianna Fail hierarchy -- before delivering a tongue-in-cheek diplomatic answer.

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"We have a wonderfully supportive headquarters," the senator told the Irish Independent.

Fianna Fail HQ did its best to make Ms Corrigan feel unwanted in the immensely competitive and volatile Dublin South constituency, nicknamed the 'Bermuda Triangle' because so many high-profile political careers appear and disappear there.

After waiting for months to ratify Ms Corrigan's nomination as the sole candidate selected by the local organisation, the party also tried to parachute in a star candidate on top of her.

But both cabinet ministers Mary Hanafin and Barry Andrews refused to budge from neighbouring Dun Laoghaire, leaving Ms Corrigan as the sole candidate.

After solidly holding two seats and pushing for a third in Dublin South, through the late Seamus Brennan and fellow former minister Tom Kitt, for the past 25 years, the party is now struggling to hold on to one.

Ms Corrigan was an unsuccessful third candidate in the past two general elections, so she's no novice.

Before the last election Mr Brennan noted the constituency had the biggest employment centre in the country in the Sandyford Industrial Estate and the best transport system with the new Luas line.

The notoriously volatile electorate of suburban, southside Dublin responded in kind.

But Ms Corrigan admits the climate is vastly different to 2007.

"It's a profound change in such a very short time -- even in terms of engaging on the doors. It's about job creation and it's about people struggling to pay the bills," she said.

Ms Corrigan is up against heavy competition to take a seat. Fine Gael's Alan Shatter and Olivia Mitchell are expected to retain their seats, with the possibility of a third seat being won by new candidate Peter Mathews if the party is pressing for an overall majority. Labour's senator and barrister Alex White and diligent councillor Aidan Culhane are also thought to be in line to win a seat.

But after that, it's anyone's bet who takes the final seat.

CANDIDATES

FIANNA FAIL

Maria Corrigan

FINE GAEL

Alan Shatter TD

Olivia Mitchell TD

Peter Mathews

LABOUR

Alex White

Aidan Culhane

GREEN PARTY

Eamon Ryan TD

SINN FEIN

Sorcha Nic Cormaic

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT

ALLIANCE

Nicola Curry

CHRISTIAN SOLIDARITY

PARTY

Jane Murphy

INDEPENDENTS

Shane Ross

John Doyle

LAST TIME OUT

- Seamus Brennan tops the poll, followed by Tom Kitt for two FF seats.

- Fine Gael’s Olivia Mitchell and Green Party’s Eamon Ryan also returned.

- Alan Shatter wins back his Fine Gael seat at the expense of PD Liz O’Donnell.

THE NUMBERS

- SEATS 5

- ELECTORATE 101,059

- VOTERS PER TD 20,211

Irish Independent

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